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Tableau Software CEO Adam Selipsky. (Tableau Photo)

Tableau Software came up short on revenue in the first quarter but posted a surprising profit, as the Seattle data visualization company continues its shift to subscription-based offerings. Tableau’s stock shot up in after-hours trading after the company issued rosy projections for the rest of the year.

Revenue: Tableau posted revenue of $282.5 million in the first quarter, up 15 percent over a year ago, but short of analyst expectations of $286.8 million. Tableau’s subscription shift has led to revenue reductions, company executives said on a call with investors, because instead of getting single, upfront payments from customers the money is spread out over the length of the subscription.

Because of that, one of the metrics the company points to as a key indicator for the health of the business is annual recurring revenue. That figure was $902 million in the first quarter, up 41 percent year-over-year.

Profit: Analysts expected Tableau to post a small loss for the quarter, but the company reported net income of $2 million, or $0.02 per share. Though profits exceeded analyst expectations, they are down from a year ago when the company posted net income of $5.8 million.

Looking ahead: Tableau raised expectations of revenue for the year from $1.34 billion to $1.4 billion. In the second quarter, Tableau expects to bring in between $313 million and $328 million in revenue, compared to analyst expectations of $321 million.

Headcount: Tableau finished the quarter with 4,286 employees, up 9 percent over a year ago. Headcount rose by 105 people over the prior quarter.

Subscriptions: The company is in the midst of a years-long turnaround, powered by its shift to subscription-based products. At the end of the first quarter, annual recurring revenue from subscriptions was $510 million, up 115 percent year-over-year.

“We saw strong subscription momentum during Q1 with our mix at 84 percent and our annual recurring revenue exceeding $900 million, up 41 percent year-over-year,” Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky said in a statement. “We are seeing more and more customers cultivate a data-driven culture in their organizations due to the ease of use and flexibility of Tableau’s end-to-end analytics platform.”

Tableau stock is up close to 6 percent in after-hours trading after initially dropping as much as 5 percent. Shares in the company have risen 41 percent over the last year.

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